Pembroke Pines principal who lost her daughter in Parkland shooting speaks out

Pembroke Pines principal who lost her daughter in Parkland shooting speaks out (WPEC)

A family whose daughter died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High is sounding off about open gates on school grounds.

They say the Broward School District is not taking the issue seriously enough.

April Schentrup delivered a speech Tuesday night in front of the school district at a regularly scheduled meeting.

The next day, that speech was still making waves and turning up the pressure for action.

“The policy has been there during school hours. You’re supposed to secure your school campus and make sure that all visitors coming in only have one way, one single point of entry,” Schentrup said.

Schentrup’s daughter, Carmen, was one of the 17 victims at Stoneman Douglas.

Schentrup is the principal at Pembroke Pines Elementary School.

She wants to know why the gates at Stoneman Douglas were open the afternoon of the shooting— well before dismissal— allowing Nicholas Cruz to get on property. Schentrup asks why gate security and protocol has not been souped up since that tragic day at all schools.

“And if we know that it failed, there should be some accountability there,” Schentrup said.

A district spokeswoman says the district has increased law enforcement presence at schools and conducted a threat assessment on all campuses.

“Cruz literally walked through an opened, unsupervised gate into a building, as the commission said ‘unfettered,’" Schentrup said. "If the gates were closed, you know, there might still be a possibility that Carmen and many of her classmates and many teachers might still be here."

CBS12 News asked to get a sit-down interview with the superintendent, but have not received an answer to that request.

Schentrup also spoke with CBS 12 News about her professional options, the mistreatment she says she’s endures since Carmen’s death.

“I am disappointed and frustrated,” she said.

Even though Schentrup says the superintendent came to her house and told her he’d help her anyway he could, she now says that compassion and patience is running dry.

“Mr. Runcie was quick to say that being a principal was not a part time job, obviously a principal is not a part-time job, that’s not what I was trying to ask," she said. "I was asking if I had another option besides being the principal of my school, if I could be assigned to another task, if I could help out with the district, or ease back to this role, but again the message took me by surprise."

CBS12 News reached out to the district for a response and received this statement from a district spokeswoman:

We can only share that Superintendent Runcie and district officials have met with and remain in communication with Ms. Schentrup... to provide information on how the district can continue to support her and the demands she faces returning to work.

The spokeswoman saysSchentrup received pay for all the time she took off from Feb. 15 to March 30.

A leave of absence is being offered with the least possible impact on her accrued leave time.

“Of course emotionally, it’s been difficult, professionally I just didn’t know what my options were,” Schentrup said.

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